Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Juvenile Probation: L.A. County Board To Consider $8 Million Infusion After U.S. Justice Authorities Decry Rate Of Reform

After receiving a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice expressing concern with the pace of progress in Los Angeles County's promised juvenile probation reforms, the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a nearly $8 million infusion of cash to help implement changes mandated under a settlement with the DOJ regarding the troubled youth probation camps.

Already Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has called on the board to "to develop new safeguards and precautions to track expenditures, placement of personnel, and other critical activities so that the County remains in full compliance with all obligations concerning these funds."

The DOJ letter expressing concern over the pace of reform under the 2008 settlement was sent to the county July 30.

The probation department, long under DOJ scrutiny, hasn't exactly been thrifty or forthright with its funds, at least not according to some accusations.

The county operates the nation's largest juvenile probation system under a "memorandum of agreement" with the DOJ that mandates "38 operational and three administrative provisions" that include new mental health hires to ensure that youths' with mental health issues are fairly treated.

The juvenile probation camps have been under scrutiny for allegedly violating the civil rights of youths in their care and failing to properly treat their health needs.

Check out a recent Weekly post about the death of a 14-year-old juvenile detainee who was not referred to a doctor or a hospital for for several days despite repeatedly complaining of pain and indications of a high fever.

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